West Dunbartonshire Council’s housing service keeps improving, say tenants
A report to the council’s housing and communities committee shows the vast majority of its performance statistics have positively improved in the last year. These standards are set by the Scottish Social Housing Charter, which aims to raise standards amongst Scotland’s major landlords.
Some of the most notable improvements were:
Councillors will now be provided with a mid-year progress report at the next committee in November, which will also provide detailed information of how West Dunbartonshire has performed compared to other local authorities.
The report also identified several areas which had not improved in the past 12 months, and each of these now has action plans in place to introduce improvements. The time taken to complete repairs and the number of tenants in rent arrears are two of the areas which will be addressed. Despite being identified as an area for improvement, the council’s repairs and maintenance record is still very good and the introduction of a new system will help to unlock further significant improvements.
Councillor David McBride, convener of housing and communities, said: “I take my role of representing Council tenants very seriously, and that is why I have been so focused on driving forward improvements to the services they receive. I am delighted that this ambition is now delivering positive results right across our housing services.
“Our £81million investment in council housing, the largest in the organisation’s history, means our housing stock now meets the national housing standard. We are engaging with our tenants like never before and also challenging every service to deliver improvements. These have all undoubtedly helped make our tenants more satisfied than ever with their properties and the support they receive. That process has not finished and we will continue to work on those areas where we can do better.”
Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, vice-convener of housing and communities, added: “When you see a positive report like this it is worth reflecting on the hard work it has taken to get here. Five years ago the Housing Regulator had big question marks about the Council’s Housing Services. Through sheer hard work and a new approach to putting tenants at the heart of our strategy we are seeing some really impressive results which are turning our performance around. I’m confident that this same approach will enable our housing services to continue to go from strength to strength in the coming year.”